Nov 18, 2015 | By Kira

The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, among other state authorities, is setting up a project that will see 2 billion RMB (approximately 313 million USD) invested in 3D printing technology over three years. The funding will be focused on research and development of 3D printers, equipment, and novel 3D printing applications. According to Chinese insiders, with the support of a number of favorable state policies, 3D printing market growth within China is expected to remain around 40%, with production expected to exceed 20 billion RMB (3 billion USD) between 2016-2020.

A 3D printed house is assembled in China

Indeed, it seems as though 3D printing within China is getting some serious state attention thanks to primarily positive news reports. Last August, Premier Li Keqiang brought up 3D printing for the first time in a speech to the State Council by explicitly addressing the need to accelerate the development of advanced manufacturing and 3D printing technology in order to modernize the Chinese economy.

Not only is the Chinese state showing support for 3D printing, but also the capital markets. 3D printing concept stocks in the A-share market (shares in mainland China-based companies that trade on Chinese stock exchanges) include Guangdong Silver Age Sci Tech Co. (300221.SZ), Shenzhen Sunshine Laser Electronics Technology Co. (300227.SZ), Wuhan Huazhong Numerical Control Co. (300161.SZ), and AVIC Heavy Machinery Co. (600765.SH).

In a speech to the State Council, Premier Li Keqiang argued that development of 3D printing technologies is necessary to modernize China's economy

Southwest Securities Research Division also pointed out that China’s secondary markets’ investment in 3D printing continue to focus on investment themes, material shares, equipment, and application services, which although not centered on the important aspect of innovation and R&D, nevertheless benefit the industry as a whole.

This news follows the global trend of skyrocketing expectations for the 3D printing market. According to Wohlers Report 2015, the market for additive manufacturing, consisting of all AM products and services worldwide, grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35% to $4.1 billion in 2014. Following global industry trends, they expect the industry to be worth $7.3 billion USD globally in 2016, $12.7 billion by 2018, and an explosive $21.2 billion by 2020. Similarly optimistic reports by Gartner have predicted that the worldwide shipping of 3D printers will reach 496K by 2016, while the 3D printing materials market is set to reach $8.3 billion by 2025.

Though there remains some controversy in the Chinese 3D printing industry, as evidenced by recent allegations of fraud against 3D printed housing company ZhuoDa, the state’s 2 billion RMB investment in research and development confirms their commitment to forging the way in AM and 3D printing technology. As a, if not the, global manufacturing powerhouse, China's renewed focus on innovative and advanced rather than old-school manufacturing techniques could very well shape the global manufacturing industry.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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